Thank you for supporting the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce! This WEEKLY email highlights information and updates from our Chamber, the Alberta and Canadian Chambers of Commerce, and our municipal, provincial, and federal government partners. 

Be sure to watch for our weekly Member Marketplace newsletter on Thursdays featuring sales, promotions, accomplishments, events, and general awareness of our membership. Email tom@gpchamber.com for info. 
Last week's issue can be accessed here.
Connecting Business. Creating Opportunity.
We've teamed up with the City of Grande Prairie to deliver a series of free instructional workshops to support current business needs.

The goal of each session is to cover a specific topic in detail which will allow businesses to leave with a skillset or ability to action the content covered.

The first sessions in the series are focusing on supporting businesses’ digital goals in marketing, photography, and cyber security and include:

  • Facebook Newsfeed Optimization - Marissa Trarback, nine10 Inc.
Thursday, February 25 – 3:00 PM
  • Food Photography 101 - Chris Beauchamp
Thursday, March 4 – 10:00 AM
  • Top Ten HR Policies You Need - Jennifer Caseley, Caseley Consulting
Thursday, March 11 - 10:00 AM


To view last week's session on Cyber Security with Fusion Business Solutions, CLICK HERE.
Contact our office for more information on the Partnership Plan:
email connectgp@getintheloop.ca or phone 780-831-0362
EXPLORE INNOVATE GROW

Growing the North's VIRTUAL Economic Development Conference
continues Wednesday and Thursday.

For more information, visit https://growingthenorth.com or contact the Chamber of Commerce by phone 780-532-5340 or email info@gpchamber.com

The Conference is an annual event organized and hosted by the:

  • City of Grande Prairie
  • County of Grande Prairie
  • Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region
  • Farm Credit Canada
  • Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Grande Prairie Regional College
  • Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network
  • Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association
  • Municipal District of Greenview

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:

PLATINUM
Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network

GOLD
Aquatera
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
Farm Credit Canada
Grande Prairie Region Destination Marketing Fund
Municipal District of Greenview
Nauticol Energy
Side Group of Companies

GOLD PARTNER
GPRC Alumni Foundation through the Walter Paszkowski Agriculture Legacy Fund

SILVER
International Paper
Seven Generations Energy Ltd.

BRONZE
BDC
Edmonton Chamber of Commerce - Canada's Trade Accelerator Program (TAP)
GetintheLoop Grande Prairie
Mackenzie County
The Women of Influence Awards are please to announce Kari Speaker-Smith as the keynote speaker for this year’s virtual event.
 
Kari Speaker Smith, CPA, CA, CFP, FEA is a partner of the locally-owned CPA firm Fletcher Mudryk LLP where she has been practicing for over 25 years. Certified as a Family Enterprise Advisor, her expertise centers on facilitating conversations with local business owners, entrepreneurs and farm families, focussing on their stories of journey and the legacy they want to build for themselves, their family and their community. Since moving from her farm roots of Southern Alberta in 1993, she has witnessed the incredible pioneering spirit, diversity and resilience of the Peace Region.
 
Kari has served and continues as an ambassador for the Board of the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. She actively participates in the Business Resiliency Task Force to connect local businesses with much-needed resources during the current economic downturn, and to continuously seek opportunities to support her community, clients, business colleagues and family. Kari will be sharing her collection of stories that encapsulate this year’s International Women’s Day theme #ChooseToChallenge. She looks forward to providing her insight and encouraging a commitment of change through her lens of, “Listen. Learn. Lead.”

To register to attend the free, virtual event Friday, March 5 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m visit cityofgp.com/womenofinfluence.
 
The Women of Influence Awards were created to celebrate International Women’s Day locally in Grande Prairie. The awards recognize local women who have made a strong impact by promoting equality, providing opportunities for women in the community and breaking barriers in their field.
 
International Women’s Day (IWD) is an event recognized world-wide to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and to advocate for the continued advancements of equal rights. The IWD 2021 theme is #ChooseToChallenge. It is a call-to-action to challenge and call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping and seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.
Join the County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network for a Private Online Live Course With Disney Institute – New Date!    
 
The County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network is pleased to announce that Disney Institute will be offering an exclusive 5-hour Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence live online course on April 7th, 2021 at 10 a.m. for our members.    
 
Presented live online by Disney Institute leaders, Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence offers the opportunity to build knowledge and discover proven Disney business insights from our chain of excellence. The presentation will include Disney best practices in leadership excellence, employee engagement and quality service that can be adapted and applied to your own profession, team or organization to achieve greater results.
 
Register today with special booking code CGP22 Visit Disney Institute for more details, then find our event listed in the course schedule to enroll.
$465 million for Alberta’s critical workers

The Critical Worker Benefit is a joint federal-provincial program that will see $465 million go to approximately 380,000 Alberta public and private sector workers as $1,200 cash payments.
COVID-19 rapid testing expanding in Alberta

Rapid testing will be used to screen asymptomatic staff at all long-term care and supportive living facilities in Alberta and a new rapid testing pilot has been launched at two Suncor sites.
Alberta’s 1976 coal policy reinstated

Alberta’s government is reinstating the 1976 coal policy after hearing concerns raised by Albertans about surface mining in the Eastern Slopes.
Applications open for new business relief

Expansions to the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program announced in January are now included on the Government of Alberta’s application portal. New businesses that began operating between March and October 2020, as well as unregistered sole proprietors, can now apply for COVID relief funding.
More support for tourism and other small businesses experiencing COVID-19-related losses across Western Canada

The expanded Regional Relief and Recovery Fund now offers up to an additional $20,000 for eligible small businesses needing continued financial support.
Government of Canada addresses CERB repayments for self-employed individuals

The Government of Canada announced that self-employed individuals who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and would have qualified based on their gross income will not be required to repay the benefit, provided they also met all other eligibility requirements. The same approach will apply whether the individual applied through the Canada Revenue Agency or Service Canada.
Government launches budget consultations to hear from Canadians

On behalf of Finance Canada, we would like to share with you the link to the Government of Canada’s Let's talk Budget 2021 Pre-Budget Consultations and encourage you to participate.

These discussions allow the government to hear the best ideas from Canadians and experts across the country about how Budget 2021 can support Canadians through the pandemic and help us build back better.

Over the coming weeks, the Government of Canada will hold virtual roundtables with diverse groups of people from a range of regions, sectors and industries, including those hardest hit by the pandemic. These roundtables are an opportunity to discuss the very real challenges Canadians are facing and listen to ways that the government can ensure a robust recovery that leaves no one behind.

Most importantly, all Canadians are invited to share their ideas through an online questionnaire at LetsTalkBudget2021.ca, which will be available until February 19, 2021.
Submission Deadline Extended: Business Link Pitch Competition

Pitch your business, connect with other small business owners, and you could win up to $3,000! This competition is an opportunity for Indigenous and immigrant small business owners to build the confidence and the skills they need to talk about their businesses, and will provide a platform for business owners that often face challenges with business exposure and access to networking opportunities outside of their immediate cultural groups.
Vexxit webinar: Simplifying tax season for Canadian small business (February 18)

Getting audited is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and, under some circumstances, downright scary. While there is no sure-fire way to prevent a tax audit, you can minimize your risk of being audited by being prepared and avoiding certain triggers. Explore what Canadian business owners need to know at this free webinar hosted by our partners at Vexxit. Join presenter Lisa Handfield, tax lawyer and CPA, on Thursday, February 18 at 2PM MST. Save your seat today: https://bit.ly/3oUFEYk
Resources to Help Your Small Business Navigate COVID-19 

We recognize SMEs have been especially hard hit by the global pandemic. We have dedicated a page on CBRN.ca to make it easier for you to find financial support, plan your operations and support the health and well-being of your employees. 

Restaurants Canada #RestaurantsAreFamily
Over $14 million has been contributed to the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund by the federal government, RBC and Canada United partners to support recovery efforts due to COVID-19. Together, we have provided relief to over 2,000 small businesses across the country.

Grants of up to $5,000 are available to small businesses to cover expenses related to personal protective equipment (PPE), renovations to accommodate reopening guidelines and for developing or improving website and ecommerce capabilities.
 
The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund was created as part of Canada United, a nationwide campaign led by RBC and over 70 large businesses, the national network of chambers of commerce and leading business associations to encourage Canadians to buy and dine local. 
C2C2C Corridors and Infrastructure 
February 22 | 1:00 p.m. ET | Online 

Canada is a resource-rich, interconnected country united by complex and stable trade-enabling and transportation infrastructure networks. Whether it’s providing clean water to communities, exporting hydroelectricity or moving Canadians across the country across our rail and highway systems, Canada’s trade corridors are highly integrated. But the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities not only in our corridor system, but also in our communities, particularly in Indigenous groups.

Join us for further insights and an interesting discussion. 

Industrial Revolution 4.0 – The Series Continues with Agriculture in the 21st Century: How Canada Can Lead by Example
March 02 | 1:00 p.m. ET | Online

Canada is poised to be a leader in the agriculture and agri-food sector, a trend identified in many reports and roundtables over the last few years. With the federal government’s announcement in November 2020 of further investments in the Universal Broadband Fund, this panel will discuss tools that leaders in the sector can use to innovate and enhance their productivity.